We have been in Costa Rica for one year, and have loved just about every minute of our time here! I needed this past year to decompress from some challenging years in the states, so I’ve kept to myself and concentrated my energy on helping our family to settle into our new life. As I near fifty, I am more particular about how I expend my resources, and up until recently, have not been up for much socializing.
I am married to an incredible optimist, with boundless energy, and a devotion to his family that melts my heart! He is in the food service industry, so he needs to tap into that energy source constantly. I’m a few years older than my man, so I am learning how to balance parenting young children while my body and psyche are moving right ahead with perimenopause! I have taught enrichment classes for babies/toddlers/preschoolers/kindergartners, and their parents in the Lake Tahoe area for 15 years. I hope to offer these classes to local schools in the near future, as there seems to be a strong desire by Costa Ricans to expose their young children to English.
We have an eighteen year old son attending university in the states, a nine year old daughter and a six year old son. They attended private Catholic bilingual school last year in the mountains above Heredia, and will attend another private school this year near our home in Grecia, as we have relocated across the central valley. Our daughter spent a year in a Spanish immersion program in a public school in Northern California, so she has had an easier time of communicating and learning the language. Her pronunciation is incredible, and she is a huge help as I feebly attempt to speak Spanish!
We first lived in the hills above Heredia. The quiet mountain community appealed to us, as the weather seemed closer to what we had known in Tahoe. We found a non-working farm on about 10 acres, complete with an established vegetable garden, fruit orchard, dairy, chicken coop, naturalized areas, a five bedroom house and lots of room for the kids to play and roam! Our neighbor/caretaker of the property was a wonderful man who joyfully shared his and his family’s life with us, letting the the kids “work” with him as he tended his cows, bulls, chickens and vegetable gardening. He had a beautiful oxcart and two magnificent bulls. He often used them for collecting cut grass, cultivating, and proudly paraded them in every nearby celebration. It was such a treat to hear the wooden wheels coming down the dirt driveway in front of the house, and we would all run our to greet them! Everyone told us how cold and windy it was up in the mountains, and of course we poo-pooed them, but living in the cloud forest is not for us! We realized that we didn’t have to be bundled up inside looking out at the fog and sideways rain, we needed to embrace our new home and enjoy the fine weather for goodness sake! It is spectacular in those mysterious cloud forest communities, but we need sun to survive and thrive. There will be a long rainy season ahead, but a few degrees warmer, and perhaps just little less fog will be easily survivable.
My husband was driving to San Jose, which was only thirty minutes, but is helping out friends in Alajuela now, and the commute has become overwhelming. I began looking for a rental in Sarchi, Atenas and Grecia area. We lucked into securing a terrific smaller home on a almost two acres with a pool, soccer field, rancho, basketball court and beautiful manicured grounds with lots of fruit trees! This is great, because I am not a clean freak, and I much prefer spending time outside in the garden! Since we moved in a month ago, we’ve learned about palm tree and pool maintenance (which is new to us) and have been just chillin‘ in our little paradise.
I want to share some of the many things I love about our adopted home….blue crowned mot-mots-toucans-parrots and kiskadees visiting the yard each day, the dish soap in tubs formulated for cold water, delicious local produce, people always out getting exercise, teachers showing love to their students, umbrellas, constant celebrating of anything and everything, picnicking and families on Sundays, stick it in the ground…it grows, frog-night bird and cricket sounds at night, floating on the Caribbean ocean, not many Ticos are stressed-just the gringos, paying bills at the grocery store or bank, a reverence for children, women embrace their figures-without self consciousness, ropa Americana stores( CR thrift shops,) ceviche, fresh fruit smoothies year-round, learning patience, older couples holding hands, homes kept so neat and tidy, having bird of paradise-gardenias-ginger-heliconias-hydrangeas and all the magnificent others that grace our yard, color in unlikely places, our dogs, kind-considerate and conflict avoiding Ticos, our children are incredibly happy, and coffee-coffee-did I mention coffee?
Well, this is glimpse into my new life. I hope your interest is peaked and you’ll return for updates.